Friday, February 02, 2007

 

Enterprise Architecture and Praise Based Leadership...

When was the last time your boss told you what a wonderful job you are doing?



Maybe we have all gotten it twisted and need to stop thinking that governance is about financial controls and start thinking it is about changing behavior. Often, the easiest way to make folks behave in a particular way is when they do something good, you give them praise. Praise is what makes good things repeatable.

My son is currently in Kindergarten where his teacher frequently praises him for things he does well and is incredibly slow to criticize. Compare and contrast this model with the current management trend where management believes it is a good idea to give good and bad feedback more frequently. The opposite of praise usually is verbal punishment which works less well. Punishment discourages folks from doing something again which is positive, but it also has the side effect of lessening credibility and influence and may make folks shut down and less likely to want to do much of anything innovative.

Praise within enterprises needs to become infectious where IT executives upon every opportunity are savage in making those who report to them feel good when they do the right thing. I bet if your boss were to praise you more, you would likewise think of him/her more as a leader and less like a manager (aka pointy-haired boss) and would work even harder even when they are not around.

If IT executives ego gets in the way and they aren't capable of praise, then it is sufficient for them to at least fall back to appreciation. Some folks will get it twisted and think that praise/appreciation is in alignment with performance-based compensation which I can say that if your boss believes this, then he/she is an idiot and this will be the topic of a future blog entry. Likewise, praise isn't the same as brown-nosing especially if your work is crap in which can lead to a death spiral.

Don't praise folks just to keep them happy as praise should have sincerity at its roots. Do praise based on the merits of one's work. Don't butter folks up, otherwise you should simultaneously look behind you for the frying pan. Praise should be held for when it comes of its own accord. Praise should never feel like a reward, but rather like something genuine.




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